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Introduction: Derek Wise

Wow, it's great to see so many people interested in applied category theory! I'm delighted to "meet" all 250+ of you!

More than a decade ago, I was a PhD student of John Baez, which meant a lot of time thinking about categories as a grad student, even if my thesis research wasn't mostly on category theory. Over the years, my research has directly involved categories here and there, but the larger impact for me has been how category theory influences my thinking, even on projects that don't explicitly involve categories. Knowing category theory helps a lot with "big-picture" thinking!

Right now I'm in the midst of a big career shift: after years of research mostly in mathematical physics, I am now getting back to thinking about computation: especially artificial intelligence and quantum computation. These are fairly new direction for me, but there's also interesting overlap with mathematics I've worked on before, and I'm really excited about that. While I've thought a lot about category theory applied in physics and topology, my current interests are leading me much more toward "applied category theory" in the sense of this course.

I'm happy John is teaching this course! It reminds me of the good old days in John's seminar at UCR, but with a lot more participants. I'm excited to see what comes out of it.

Comments

  • 1.
    edited April 2018

    It's great to see you here, Derek! Category theory is so general that if you use enough categories in your work you can change fields without even noticing it. That's an exaggeration, but it eased my career shift, and I hope it eases yours.

    I hope you drop comments here and there; the stuff we're doing so far is pretty elementary, but it's also quite cute: basically, Brendan and David cover a lot of the main themes of category theory for preorders in the first two chapters. A preorder can be defined as a category where all diagrams commute, so you can see how this would massively simplify category theory. "Yay! All equations are true!" image Nonetheless the concepts of adjoint functor and monoidal category are nontrivial and very interesting. So that's what we're doing now.

    Consider talking to these folks:

    That's where the computer people are congregating.

    Comment Source:It's great to see you here, Derek! Category theory is so general that if you use enough categories in your work you can change fields without even noticing it. That's an exaggeration, but it eased my career shift, and I hope it eases yours. I hope you drop comments here and there; the stuff we're doing so far is pretty elementary, but it's also quite cute: basically, Brendan and David cover a lot of the main themes of category theory for _preorders_ in the first two chapters. A preorder can be defined as a category where all diagrams commute, so you can see how this would massively simplify category theory. "Yay! All equations are true!" <img src = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/emoticons/celebrating.gif"> Nonetheless the concepts of adjoint functor and monoidal category are nontrivial and very interesting. So that's what we're doing now. Consider talking to these folks: * [Categories for the Working Hacker - a Discussion Group](https://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/1782/categories-for-the-working-hacker-a-discussion-group). That's where the computer people are congregating.
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